Thread By Thread: Costumes on Screen

Hair Raising

The lovely Lavinia Swire from Season 2 of Downton Abbey

Camera ready hair is something we all strive for, but sadly most of us don’t have a team of stylists to whip our hair into whatever complicated braid we want before work or that date we’ve been looking forward to.  Truth of the matter is that even a beautiful chignon needs help sometimes to really give the illustrious wow factor, namely in headbands, hair combs, and pins. As Rachel Berry so aptly taught us  a headband can really complete and outfit and add a flair to draw attention to the character. Here are some of my favorite hair accessories from film!

Downton Abbey- Lavinia and Lady Sybil’s Headbands

Lady Sybil’s daring dinner attire is both shocking because they are pants but also such a cutting edge and foreign influenced design.

One of Periot’s elaborate Harem Designs that served as an inspiration to Sybil’s outfit.

Lavinia’s beautiful Art Nouveau headband coupled with her elaborate hairstyle alerts the Granthams that she may not be titled but she is certainly not underprivileged.

With Downton Fever at a high at the moment in the middle of the second series of the British import, it’s only natural to marvel at some of the lovely creations for the show.  The show’s real ground may be in Lady Mary and heir Matthew Crawley’s  romance but Lady Sybil’s progressive attitude and beauty is the most captivating and oh the torture of actually liking Miss Lavinia Swire!  What better way for these lovely ladies to steal some of Mary’s spotlight than by donning some lovely hair accessories!  Both of their headband take from the late Edwardian King of Fashion, Paul Poiret. Poiret’s designs were heavily influenced by the Orient and heavily influenced the lavish 20s style we’re used to. In season one Lady Sybil boldly dons a lovely blue harem pants evening ensemble complete with beaded headband to shock the family at dinner.  The headband brings the outfit up, instead of just seeming like an costume from the neck down. The lovely bejeweled rope headband Lavinia wears for her introduction to the Grantham’s at Downton is equally as alluring. The headband must show her desire to be seen as fashionable and most importantly as affluent enough to marry Matthew. Lavinia manages to look sweet and the portrait of art deco beauty.  I’m crossing my fingers for these two ladies and their cross society matches!

Twilight: Breaking Dawn- Bella’s Wedding Comb

The style of attaching the veil from the comb actually came out of the Edwardian era, though the comb was usually made from flowers.

The reveal of Bella’s wedding dress was one of many things highly anticipated by fans before the release of the latest Twilight installment, Breaking Dawn. Fans were granted glimpses of Bella on her big day with the release of the trailer which showed Bella from the neck up. Wearing her something old and blue, her diamond and sapphire hair comb gave hint to just how dazzling Bella would look on her big day. Described in the novels as combs that were a Swan family heirloom that was reset with diamonds and sapphires as a present from her parents on her wedding day.  Meyers, as a producer, asked several local Baton Rouge jewelers, where the film was shot, to present their designs for the comb based on the novel’s description.  Anne Arceneaux and Carmen Cantwell of The Gilded Lily came up the chosen design for the comb. The two choose to go for one larger antique Edwardian style comb instead of the dual flower style described in the books.  The comb has become a hit in bridal fashion and is even available for purchase by fans in both costume and real versions.

Titanic- Rose’s Hair Butterfly Comb and Jeweled Headband

Creating jewelry insects was actually a popular subject for Tiffany to create, his most famous being a dragonfly and dandelion hair comb.

Rose’s Grecian Style headband and hairstyle pairs well with her empire waist gown, also Grecian in silhouette.

The popularity of hair combs and butterfly hair accessories rose after Titanic’s release in 1997. Seen first as a broken comb brought from the depths of the Titanic wreck, viewers have to nearly another hour until they see the comb in its full glory in Rose’s red locks. Designed by costume designer Deborah L. Scott it was modeled after the popular stained glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. Tiffany was well known for his work in stained glass but also went on the found Tiffany Jewelry and Co and often applied his work in glass art to a smaller scale for elaborate hair combs and other jewelry.  The Butterfly comb is a perfect example of the Tiffany Art Nouveau style with its delicate setting for the stained glass pieces in a simple streamlined style.  Rose also dons a beaded headband of sorts for her dinner with Jack. While not actually worn as most headbands are worn today or in the band style that would become popular around the start of the First World War. The jeweled piece is longer and is worn looped several times over a complicated twist. It is reminiscent of the Grecian style of wearing your hair, yet another by product of the Art Nouveau movement.

Atonement- Cecilia’s Star Hairpins

The star pin represents Cecilia’s unattainably to Robbie and its descent to the floor represents the star crossed romance between the two.

Barely visible in this picture Cecilia’s hair pins are there for decoration and serve little purpose in actually maintaining the hairstyle (Little Known fact, for this scene Knightley is actually wearing a wig in this scene.)

Knightly, as a spokeswoman for Chanel, wore the hair pins for the premier of the film.

One would think that for hairpin that proves to be vital to the plot there would be better shots of them in the movie. Sadly the hairpin which leads to the doomed fate of Robbie and Cecilia gets few shots actually on her head. Luckily star Kiera Knightley donned the pins to the premiere of the film allowing fans to get a closer look at the tiny jeweled star pins.  Created for the film for by Chanel the pins were designed Art Deco designs which were popular in the 30s. The pins provide a bit of fun flair to the dramatic and rather serious Cecilia.

Star Wars: Return of the Sith- Padme’s Silver Moon Headband

Padme’s headband is also reminiscent of the headdress she wear will traveling in disguise with Anikin in the previous film.

As I have stated before, Star Wars Costume Designer Trish Biggar wanted Padme to look like a unattainable vision of beauty, even while under the stress of being pregnant with twins a secret marriage, a husband away at war and being heavily involved in politics. Impossibilities aside Biggar managed to accomplish just that. Though Padme’s overall look is much more motherly and earthly in this film than the last. Gone are the elaborate hairstyles and in with the natural loose curly hair held back by a beautiful but simple headband. The headband was designed by Biggar and made from hammered silver cut into the shape of crescent moons and small round turquoise gems.  The blue color and earthen metals also represent Padme’s connection to natural state of motherhood and reflects back to the tranquility of her home planet Naboo.  While Padme receives some unfortunate news from her good friend Obi Wan while wearing the headband, at least she looks good while crying.

This entry was published on January 27, 2012 at 10:04 pm. It’s filed under Entertainment, Jan. 2012, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “Hair Raising

  1. Love Titanic and Breaking Dawn.

  2. These dresses are amazing. Well done to the person who made them.

  3. Marly Ann on said:

    I don’t personally admire the Twilight series, but I was just stunned when I saw that wedding dress. The details fall on her so perfectly flattering. It just gives off this romantic feeling that makes girls like me want to marry on an instant.

  4. Pingback: I Do, I Do, I Do, Part 2! « Thread By Thread: Costumes on Screen

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